REACH AND PALMAR GRASP IN TETRAPLEGICS WITH NEUROMUSCULAR ELECTRICAL STIMULATION

ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate the movement strategies of quadriplegics, assisted by neuromuscular electrical stimulation, on reach and palmar grasp using objects of different weights. Methods: It was a prospective clinical trial. Four chronic quadriplegics (C5-C6), with injuries of traumatic origin, were recruited and all of them had their reach and palmar grasp movement captured by four infrared cameras and six retro-reflective markers attached to the trunk and right arm, assisted or not by neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the triceps, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor digitorum communis, flexor digitorum superficialis, opponens pollicis and lumbricals. It was measured by a Neurological and Functional Classification of Spinal Cord Injuries of the American Spinal Injury Association, Functional Independence Measure and kinematic variables. Results: The patients were able to reach and execute palmar grasp in all cylinders using the stimulation sequences assisted by neuromuscular electrical stimulation. The quadriplegics produced lower peak velocity, a shorter time of movement and reduction in movement segmentation, when assisted by neuromuscular electrical stimulation. Conclusion: This study showed that reach and palmar grasp movement assisted by neuromuscular electrical stimulation was able to produce motor patterns more similar to healthy subjects. Level of evidence IV; Case series.